Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Son's World...

On my way to work today, I heard on the radio that there had been a shooting at the off campus college dorms across the street from where I work.  Sure enough, pulling onto the street, police cars and forensic units were on the scene, halting traffic as driver slowed and gawked at what looked like the set of CSI in our quiet town.

As the details emerged, it appeared that a student had been shot by campus security.  Details were scarce, but it was a tragic event by all accounts.  

And then, only an hour up the road, I read that a state senator had suffered stab wounds to his face and abdomen.  Again, not much was being reported, but later it was revealed his son had taken his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot.

The world is a violent place, but today it just so happened to be a little more violent in my neck of the woods.  After work, I came home and enjoyed my son’s giggle, but after dinner the news again caught my eye.  This time the report was on a new teenage fad called the knock out game.  It seems teenagers are walking around slugging unsuspecting victims—men and women at random.

And with that I'd had enough, I turned the television off.  I already struggle with what seems to be an increasingly violent world, or at least more broadcasted world.  Just two years ago, none of this would have bothered me.  Sure, I would have shook my head and felt bad for the victims, but it wasn’t something I dwelled on.  Everything changed the day that my wife told me she was pregnant.  Now I worry, I worry for my son and the world he will live in.  A world that seems to be getting increasingly unstable. 

Parenting is now an elective, and the children of those who don’t wish to parent will become parents themselves.  And then what?  

I don’t mean to be all doom and gloom here.  I’m normally a pretty lighthearted guy.  But sometimes it gets to me and I get discouraged because I feel there is nothing I can do.

But then I think of the little stories and sights that get lost in the shuffle of punches and gunshots.  Like that little old man who sits at the edge of the road on my way home and waves to traffic. I think of those selfless kids over the summer who set up a lemonade stand and donated the profits to the humane society. There's the teenage Dairy Queen worker who watched a customer in line pocket a twenty dropped by a blind patron.  After refusing to serve the thief, he went into his own wallet to reimburse the victim.  This is the world I want my son to live in.

It reminds me of the words of a good friend when he had just become and dad.  When I asked him if he was worried about violence, politics, the middle east, or even another Rocky movie, he shook his head and smiled.

He said that while he couldn’t control the world and all of the craziness in it, could do his part in his house.  He could raise his son the best he knew how, to teach him to be polite and courteous, to do the right thing.  And to show him love and affection. 

On days like this I need these words more than I ever thought.  Because that’s what I have to do, raise my son the best way I know how, so that when he leaves the safety of these walls, he will know that he is loved.  And maybe that’s all it takes, is to feel loved.



  1. I've been thinking similar thoughts this week and also trying to remember the good things people do to offset all of the evil in the world. I think your friend has the right idea - the only thing we can control are our own actions and reactions to outside forces.

  2. Thanks EIZimmy, I guess it's all we can do!